Elon Musk the world’s richest person again as Arnault’s LVMH slides

The two men have been neck and neck for the top spot this year in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index

Bernard Arnault, right, has been unseated as the world's richest person by Elon Musk. AFP
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Elon Musk on Wednesday retook the title of world’s wealthiest person.

The Tesla chief executive passed luxury tycoon Bernard Arnault on Wednesday after shares of Mr Arnault’s LVMH fell 2.6 per cent in Paris trading.

Mr Musk and the 74-year-old Frenchman have been neck and neck for the top spot this year in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a listing of the world’s 500 richest people.

Mr Arnault first surpassed Mr Musk in December as the tech industry struggled and luxury showed resilience in the face of inflation.

LVMH, which Mr Arnault founded, owns brands including Louis Vuitton, Fendi and Hennessy.

Faith in the luxury sector’s buoyancy is starting to fade amid mounting signs of slowing economic growth, particularly in the critical market of China.

LVMH shares have tumbled about 10 per cent since April, at one point wiping $11 billion from Mr Arnault’s net worth in a single day.

Mr Musk, meanwhile, has gained more than $55.3 billion this year, largely due to Tesla.

The Austin-based car maker – which comprises 71 per cent of his fortune – has rallied 66 per cent year-to-date.

Mr Musk’s fortune is now valued at about $192.3 billion, according to the index, while Mr Arnault’s is about $186.6 billion.

Updated: May 31, 2023, 11:27 PM